Ankylosing spondylitis is an inflammatory disease that ultimately results in the fusion of spinal vertebrae. By fusing the vertebrae together, the spine becomes more rigid and less flexible, resulting in a hunched posture. It is known that ankylosing spondylitis is an autoimmune disease, however it turns out that it may also be driven by the microbiome.

A study was done to analyze the unique biomarkers within the gut microbiome that are seen as ankylosing spondylitis progresses. Patients with ankylosing spondylitis were found to have increased amount of Prevotella melaninogenica, Prevotella copri, and Bifidobacterium, while they had decreased amount of Bacteroides. It is suggested that these alterations in the microbiota actually participate in the pathogenesis of ankylosing spondylitis. A potential treatment may arise out of the microbiome.

Wen, C., Zheng, Z., Shao, T., Liu, L., Xie, Z., Chatelier, E. L., . . . Ehrlich, S. D. (2017, July 27). Quantitative metagenomics reveals unique gut microbiome biomarkers in ankylosing spondylitis. Retrieved from